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3

 

lovingly drank it. While Baba was drinking a second cup of coffee, Sorabji's sister proudly thought that Baba was drinking coffee in their home. Immediately, Baba put down the cup and did not drink any more.

 

Baba then walked about the house from one room to another. On the wall was hanging a photo of Zoroaster* painted by a boy of only fifteen. Baba, pointing to the photo, remarked, "This is an exact picture of Prophet Zoroaster." It seems that the boy had died soon after he finished the painting. Just when he was putting down his brush, he said, "Angels have come for me." Saying this, the boy had passed away. Quite a few people in Navsari had availed themselves of this first opportunity of taking Baba's darshan. Baba and His party left for Bombay the same day.

 

Second Visit to Navsari

 

Sorabji received a telegram on the 1st of March 1932 at 12:30 p.m. that Baba and His mandali were to arrive by the 1 p.m. train. Everyone in the house, though overjoyed, was confused as nothing was ready for Baba and His mandali. Their maid servant had not come on that day and so the house had not been swept. They did not know where to begin and what food they would give Baba. Suddenly, from the blue, six men came at their front door and asked for work! With one voice everyone said, of course, start right away. The six men swept the house, cleaned the furniture, rushed to the market and brought eatables, and a cauldron of hot water was ready in case the mandali might want to have baths. The six men worked at lightning speed.

 

Sorabji rushed to the station to find that the train was just steaming in. Baba and the mandali were brought home in four tongas (horse-driven carriages). As soon as they arrived, Baba asked Kaka Baria, one of the mandali, to clip His nails. He then asked for nine buckets of water for a bath! (a not oft-repeated ceremony!) The women had by now cooked food for Baba and the mandali. In those days, Baba's standing order was that while cooking food, one should observe silence. After His bath, Baba dressed and came in the sitting room with his long hair flowing over His shoulders. Baba asked Bapai Desai, "How do I look?" She said, "Very handsome." Baba replied, "Because of your love."

 

Lunch was soon served for all. The mandali wished to drink toddy. Toddy is the sap of the palm tree, a drink, not of strong alcoholic content. Navsari is famous for toddy. In fact the Parsees of those days made their pile selling toddy and hard drinks. Toddy was sent for in an earthen pot as is customary. The pot remained as it came, for Baba did not give them permission to drink.

 

In the afternoon, Baba was giving a discourse on His alphabet board on the theme of Creation. When He said that the individual soul, after passing through innumerable births realizes its identity with the Oversoul, there was a big flash of light from His head which filled the room with a golden glow. No one knew how this happened.

 

The news of Baba having arrived at Navsari was no longer a secret by any chance. The Secondary School Certificate examination was about to begin then. There are two schools near Sorabji's house. The school boys, having heard about Baba and His divinity, came in large numbers to ask Baba whether they would pass in their examination! Baba would give prasad to all and the boys would go away feeling that success in the examination was now assured! Many people came to see Baba out of curiosity.

 

Later in the afternoon, Baba visited Lunsikui, a big open plot of land where inter-school and inter-collegiate sports are held. The plot is surrounded by bungalows owned by Parsees. He also visited the "Bunder" (port) of Navsari. Navsari is bounded on the north by the river Purna, which completes its long course by emptying itself into the sea about three miles away.

 

The next morning Baba was to leave. Sorabji's family went to the station to give Baba and His mandali a send-off. At the station, there was a

 

*Shown in Awakener Vol 14, no. 3-4, Page 21

 

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